E L B O W
Elbow: Jump Around. Counclusions Hurt.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Jump Around. Counclusions Hurt.

In the PBS documentary "The Mormons" I remember a woman who was telling the story of her great great grandmother who crossed the plains and who wrote in her journal and the the undeniable witness she had recieved telling her that the Church was true. And the woman telling this story mentioned that she had left the Church because she never recieved that witness that the Church was true no matter what. She stated that she felt uncertain and that her testimony grew out of uncertainty and that she doesn't claim the Church to be false or to be true, because she hasn't received answers either way.

I have a friend who was telling me about how he came to knew the Church was true. And when he was telling me he had this fire in his tone that reall made me believe what he was telling me. He said that he was at a youth meeting when he was in high school and he was listening to a Choir sing "I Am A Child Of God" in a lot of different languages. He said he felt the spirit so strong that it was undeniable and that at that moment because of the feelings he was feeling, he knew that the Church was true.

So to me it sounded like the spirit was confirming that he was a child of God, not the the Church was true, but he chose to believe that because of that experience and because it was at a Church activity that he had to believe that that experience meant that the Church was true for him. So I don't question or judge that, in fact I respect his steadfastness in his desire to live in a way that he feels is the best way for his spirit to progress.

But for me it's different. I have a creator I know that God or a higher power or even a collective consciousness of all good energy and light fuels the breath of all meaning and goodness. I don't know if God does exist like the Mormon God I've been taught to believe. I don't know cause I haven't seen Him. And I felt a powerful force within me state that there is a higher power so I'm more inclined to say that yes there is a God or a higher power, but the details concerning His plan for me and His desire for the world I know not because I haven't had a confirmation of it.

When I would go to the temple I would feel good because I felt like I was doing something good and praiseworthy, but there were times when I would enter and sit in a session and feel drained spiritually because I wasn't connected to what I was hearing. It was hard sometimes to sit through the temple and feel like I didn't have the exact feeling I should be feeling. I didn't ever sit in the celestial room and feel a powerful force or even a soft whisper I felt good sometimes and sometimes I felt nothing and sometimes I was bored and other times I was anxious to get out. Now that doesn't mean that the Church is or isn't true. I can't base the veracity of the Church on how I'm feeling from one minute to the next and I suppose it would be different if I were to feel an undeniable feeling like my friend or the pioneers.

Or maybe I'm not ready. Maybe the Lord wants to try and test me before I can humble myself to come to know that the Church and its teachings are exactly what I should follow. And so for now I'm living my life in a way that I feel is honest and good and trustworthy. I'm not doing things like attending the temple or going to Church because they feel inauthentic to me at the moment. I'm trying to pray more and connect more with the Universe and the higher vibrational powers of unconditional love and acceptance and that's all I can do.

I feel like if I were to go to Church feeling uninspired and unmotivated that it wouldn't be for the right reasons. And it's hard when I feel like the majority of the members wouldn't understand what I'm going through and that they would also judge me for my choices. And I know it's not about them, but if it's not then why congregate at all? Why meet together? And of course I could take it upon myself to be a light bearer and bring people to a higher level of understanding of what it means to embrace homosexuals in the Church and love and accept all people, but I don't fee like that's my mission right now. But obviously I bring it up because there's some part of me that wants to figure everything out and if it's that I feel uncertain for the rest of my life about the origins of God and the truth of the Church, then that's ok, because in the meantime I'm going to live as beautifully as I can and give as much good as I can and take as much spiritual power from the Universe as I can. And for that I feel like I'll be doing what's right. At least right for me.

6 Comments:

Blogger Clark said...

Elbow-- I really relate to a lot of what you are expressing. Any time an organization exists, especially one that claims to provide almost all the important answers to life's questions, it seems to me that there will always be a dynamic of pressure among some of the constituents of the organization. Organically, all human beings question the world around them. Every day, devout mormons do things that they may not feel wholly connected to. One may pay tithing in a really connected way while feeling extremely disconnected with the word of wisdom. Another may find great joy in attending the temple while he secretly struggles with why he has to attend church for 3 hours every sunday. The way the doctrine presents itself is difficult to face if you feel at odds with it. Anything that you feel or do which removes you from the "safety" of the commandments is supposedly not of God-- therefore completely of the devil. Apparently there is no middle ground. So if you are a devout mormon who doesn't exactly feel connected to the law of chastity, you basically have a choice on your hands: Heavenly Father or Satan.

I think that leaving that construct, while scary, might really empower a person in your situation. It truly gives you the opportunity to do what any human being should be able to do. FEEL FREEDOM. EXPERIENCE LIFE. Is this a slippery slope. Maybe. But it's only a pitfall into misery if you allow the "leaving the church will ruin your life" perspective to set your inteniton for you.

Besides, I have always felt so strongly that the church has no need to fear anything. If it is actually the only true and living gospel on the face of the earth, then the TRUTH sets the church FREE of fear. Why are certain members and leaders so adamant that gay marriage never come to the United States? Are they afraid? Are members afraid that you don't feel connected to the temple? Are they afraid that you don't believe in Joseph Smith's narration about seeing God the Father and His Beloved Son in a grove of trees in upstate New York? They don't need to be scared of anything with the truth on their side.

Live your life Elbow. And don't forget to moisturize.. sometimes a lot of dead skin can end up on you, elbow.

2:28 AM  
Blogger playasinmar said...

"Maybe the Lord wants to try and test me before I can humble myself to come to know that the Church and its teachings are exactly what I should follow." -Elbow

Even if you don't stay with the church, humility is a virtue.

5:19 AM  
Blogger santorio said...

and what about mother teresa, who it now appears lived most of her incredibly christian-centered life feeling that she had never received a spiritual confirmation of her beliefs?

10:19 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I've never believe in a God who arbitrarily test humanity.

To paraphras the late Brooke Aster, living is everthing, and death is nothing. Live your life, because death, while certain, is unknowable.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Forester said...

I've found that truth can be found in many places and that all truth is connected together. Each piece of truth seems to need its own confirmation, and while one confirmation may be connected to another, a wholeness of belief can only be attained one piece at a time. However, as I said, all truth is related to one greater truth. Although there are parts of the gospel I don't understand or may not yet have received a confirmation for, that doesn't mean that they are not true. I personally just don't know that they are, but wanting to believe is a start.

7:03 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

Line upon line, precept on precept... here a little, there a little... that is how we learn. It's not all or nothing.

8:13 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home